WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a funding availability of up to $1 million in grants through its Brookwood-Sago grant program to support education and training to help the mining community identify, avoid and prevent unsafe and unhealthy working conditions in and around the nation’s mines.
Established by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the program’s efforts to make mines safer and healthier honors 25 miners who perished in disasters at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in Brookwood, Alabama, in 2001 and at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, West Virginia, in 2006.
Administered by the department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Brookwood-Sago grants will focus education and training programs on occupational hazards, including:
- Exposures to respirable dust and crystalline silica.
- Powered haulage and mobile equipment safety.
- Mine emergency preparedness and rescue.
- Electrical safety.
- Contract and customer truck drivers.
- Improving training for new and inexperienced miners, and managers and supervisors performing mining tasks.
- Pillar safety for underground mines.
- Falls from heights.
The grants may also support programs emphasizing training on miners’ statutory rights, including the right to a safe and healthy working environment, to refuse an unsafe task, and to have a voice in the safety and health conditions at the mine. Recipients may use the grant funding to develop educational and training materials, recruit mine operators and miners for the training, and to conduct and evaluate training.
In awarding the grants, MSHA will give special emphasis to education and training programs that target miners at smaller mines and underserved populations in the mining industry. They will also prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion.